December 13, 1997 |
Recently I was visiting in my fourth grader's classroom, and among the activities on offer was a film about whales, or more specifically, whales and some whale-studying people on a boat. This is part of a larger program designed to teach science principles, which I believe works well, certainly in the hands of an alert teacher. But there was something funny going on in this movie, and after a few minutes I figured it out. It was the cast of characters! Altogether we had: The gruff-but-loving grandfather/ salty dog; The spunky Everyman kid; The neurotic loudmouth kid; The disabled kid; The woman scientist; The African American; The Hispanic (complete with accent)
September 16, 1993 |
JOEY BREAKER 1/2 (1992) (Paramount) 92 minutes. Richard Edson, Cedella Marley, Erik King, Gina Gershon. A biting yet sympathetic study of a high-powered New York talent agent, written and directed by Steven Starr, who used to be one. The story of one man's journey from raging egomaniac to decent human being, the film ultimately lacks the vitriolic humor of Robert Altman's The Player. Because the protagonist (Edson) is essentially a good guy, the filmmaker has spared him from the cruelest satire.
November 15, 2010 |
Most people, if they were set to turn 88 next month, would be content to have good physical health and their mental faculties intact. However, Stan Lee has proven yet again that he is not most people. He remarkably, continues to produce exceptional work in the comic field. He also continues to break industry records. It was recently announced by BOOM! Studios that the latest creation with his fingerprints, "Stan Lee's Soldier Zero ," has sold over 24,000 copies so far, BOOM!
September 14, 2008 |
In a paradox that could only happen in the theater, Broadway's most beautiful loser might finally deliver its long-promised brilliance when given exactly the opposite of what it seems to need. Leonard Bernstein's Candide, a picaresque musical about natural and man-made disasters ambushing people over two 18th-century continents, opens Wednesday for a five-week run at the Arden Theatre in a production that attempts spectacle without scenery, humor without comedy, and grand ambitions with as few means as possible.
June 2, 2012 |
Suitcases were piled high behind Jim Stewart's desk in the president's office at Malvern Preparatory School the other day — an apt metaphor, even if they had nothing to do with his departure from the Main Line campus later this month after a memorable 42-year career as a teacher, coach, and administrator. Instead, the luggage was for one final learning adventure with Malvern Prep students in a remote corner of the Peruvian desert 3,500 miles away — the fourth time Stewart has taken high school students there to connect with Villanova University students on a volunteer mission.
June 9, 1989 |
The outdoor quest that simmers in Everyman surfaces abruptly when Evan Joshua Burgos, a fireplug of a 20-month-old, points out the front door of his Bella Vista home and demands, "OUT!" With the world at his command and an adult in tow, Evan explores. He scans the horizon on his daily doggie patrol, scouts for construction trucks that back up and go "beep-beep," grabs his stroller and heads to the park. He has a truck-driver tan - a brown little neck and arms - and the sun has bleached his brown hair almost blond.
July 3, 2011 |
Tom Hanks looks darn good for 55. He also looks darn good for Tom Hanks. Slimmer than in recent years. Sunnier than Robert Langdon, the oddly coiffed symbologist/sleuth he played in The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. Sharper-dressed, too, in a midnight-blue blazer, black shirt, and Levi's. And why not? In Larry Crowne, which opened Friday, Hanks plays the guy who first loses his job and then his house, enrolls in community college, gets a makeover from the second-cutest female on campus, and dates the cutest one, a speech teacher played by Julia Roberts.
December 11, 1988 |
For centuries, any historian worthy of his or her doctorate would study the really important documents - the Federalist Papers and all that - and the really important people - the Teddy Roosevelts, the Napoleons. Times have changed. Nowadays, well, a top-flight historian might pore over the scrapbooks of someone most folks have never heard of - William Henry Dorsey. Dorsey was a black Philadelphian of the last century with a collecting mania to rival Andy Warhol's. He stockpiled bricks from demolished historic buildings.
April 16, 1997 |
For its first production, the new Theater Rumpus has selected the very old play Everyman. An inspired choice it is, too. The theater's director, Domenick Scudera, imaginatively updates the medieval morality play to make it relevant to contemporary sensibilities. One of the first plays in the English language, Everyman, you may remember from high school or college (it's one of those works you read then or not at all), is the story of a man who is told he is going to die and had better spend his last days preparing his final accounting.
November 16, 2010 |
In ancient Athens 2,409 years ago, Socrates stood trial for, essentially, being a philospher, and for teaching the youth under his wing to ask questions. I doubt that he had a bunch of jurors as annoyingly responsive as the ones on the soundtrack that plays throughout Plato's Apology: The Trial of Socrates , a Quintessence Theatre production at Mount Airy's Sedgwick Theater. But he would have been lucky to have the stage persona of the production's Socrates, Sam Tsoutsouvas.